Ecocritical Forms of Engagement with Nature and Texts

Oppermann S.

FORUM FOR WORLD LITERATURE STUDIES, vol.6, no.2, pp.305-319, 2014 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.305-319
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This essay critically examines eco-activism as commitment to various forms of engagement with the earth, and with literary narratives that feature often romanticized conceptions of nature and contemplations of place attachment, environmental awareness, and ecological values. The argument is that activism, as in the case of the Occupy Gezi Movement in Istanbul, would be more effective if supplemented with theory. Activism in ecocriticism is also associated with thematic interpretations of literary-environmental texts according to which experience articulates nature. The essay contests this idea that nature finds its best expression in texts that supposedly transparently reflect human experience in natural surroundings. It proposes instead a material ecocritical way of integrating ecocritical activism with its theoretical dimension to complete the activism-theory circle in a meaningful way. Thus, theory emerging from material expressions entails a new understanding of activism as part of theorizing, and theory as part of activism in a complex world of interrelations and border-crossings.